This website is not being maintained and will be discontinued in November 2017. For Runaway and Homeless Youth information, content can be used for informational purposes or you can contact the National Clearinghouse for Homeless Youth and Families at 301-828-1324. For Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention information, visit the Teen Pregnancy Exchange. For Family Violence Prevention and Services information, visit the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence.
The National Runaway Safeline serves as the Family and Youth Services Bureau's federally mandated national communication system for runaway and homeless youth. The Chicago organization offers a crisis hotline and online services 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to youth at risk of running away, those who have run away or are homeless, and their families. Runaway Reality, a regular feature on the National Runaway Safeline's blog, highlights the stories of young people and families who contact the hotline. This recent installment is about Tiana, a 16-year-old caller considering whether or not to leave home. Here's an excerpt:
Tiana, a 16 year old from New York City, called because she was thinking about leaving home. Tiana and her mom had not been getting along for years. She said that a couple years ago she was placed in foster care for a few months because her mom had physically hurt her.
“I thought foster care was rough, but living with my mom is worse,” Tiana said.
Tiana wasn’t happy with anywhere she had lived. When NRS’ frontline team member, Jamie, reflected on how a lot of people have let her down in the past, Tiana commented on how true that was – “All I’ve wanted is to live in a place where I can focus on myself and school. I don’t want to leave home, but there aren’t any other options.”
This is a common experience – Tiana is not alone. Many times, young people take steps to protect themselves by getting support from child protective services only to find that they are unable to have adequate authority over their own lives. The disappointment can be overwhelming.